Marie-Louise Bédard, Horticulture Specialist
Forestry Specialist – Montreal Region, Tree Canada
Working in urban forestry for two years and in horticulture for four years
1. What are your proudest accomplishments?
The smallest projects often make me the proudest. I am always grateful to be able to help materialize community projects and share my knowledge (and especially my passion) with the public. These groups are full of beautiful energy and are yearning to make a difference at their level. Walking through Montreal and seeing all those projects I contributed to and all the trees we planted together is an endless satisfaction.
2. How has the urban forestry field changed since you first entered the profession?
I am still relatively new in the field, but I can see change taking place at different levels depending on areas of activity. I can feel that greening projects are currently very popular and it’s very exciting to see all the opportunities we have today. This is one of the fields primarily led by the public sector and not-for-profit organizations, where women are well represented and where partnerships, resource sharing, and transparency are at the forefront. I feel intergenerational issues are less prominent and that the desire to green is now a collective effort.
3. Share a story of someone that has inspired or supported you in your career.
Robin Wall Kimmerer and Deborah McGregor are two women who are a great inspiration for me and who influence my practice. The first one works in forest biology, and the second in forestry. Both come from strong communities (Potawatomi and Anishinaabe, respectively) and found a remarkable balance between the scientific and holistic visions of the living world. I do my work with a lot of respect, humility, and listening, sharing values such as mutual assistance and sharing, both in resources and skills, and an innate and sincere kindness toward the world and those around us. I strongly believe that the key is to revisit our connection to living things.
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